John Battelle on ad networks, Webjam white label social network, top UK sites, IAB's social media handbook, Obama spends 8mn online

Ad Networks Focus: Interview with John Battelle, author of 'The Search' ..
While vertical ad networks may improve efficiency for direct-response advertisers, who determine success based on some variation of cost-per-click, they are not solving the needs of brand advertisers. Ultimately, vertical ad networks serve advertisers and will compete with everyone else who serves DR advertisers, from Google to the other ad networks. The excitement over "vertical" ad networks will erode as CPMs on those networks chase the DR metrics.
The next step is to move past banners designed to drive clicks and other DR metrics. We are in the early days of brand marketing online. Some of the stuff we and others refer to as "conversational marketing"--marketing that invites consumers to engage with relevant content from the brand, its content partners and other customers--is a move in the right direction. The key in conversational marketing is to create engagement and to add value to consumers' lives in ways that build brand equity.
Webjam launches white label social network service

The service is aimed at digital agencies, web designers, directories and online services providers, letting them create corporate social networks. Webjam gives clients access to a team of developers and community managers. The company also helps clients by
populating their blogs and forums with users, creating custom widgets and providing end user support.

New MySpace ad model lets members use copyrighted video
The new ad model means that certain clips will be allowed to remain on the social network with advertising attached. The creators of the original content will then get a cut of the ad revenue generated from the clip.MySpace and online video ad technology company Auditude have already signed up one TV production company, Viacom Inc.-owned MTV Networks

HP boosts customer service with online social groups
Hewlett-Packard, the world's largest information technology marketer, has reorganized to integrate digital marketing concepts as a core force across the entire company, according to CMO Mike Mendenhall. In his appearance at the recent ANA conference, Mr. Mendenhall also noted that the independent social networks that have grown up around its various product lines are now viewed as an integral part of its consumer service operations.
Top UK sites- September 2008
Google sites, Microsoft sites, Yahoo sites, Ebay, facebook, BBC, AOL, Wiki, Ask, Amazon sites.
Facebook has overtaken the BBC as the UK's fifth most popular web property, according to the latest figures from web measurement firm comScore.

IAB launches social media handbook -
The Internet Advertising Bureau is releasing its first social media handbook, showing advertisers how to 'become part of the online community'. This is the first formal initiative from the IAB Social Media Council, which was launched in July this year. Download the book here

Obama's Online Ad Spend Approached $8 Million
If a recent online political ad revenue prediction is correct, President-elect Barack Obama's campaign could account for at least half of all 2008 online political ad spending. The winning candidate's campaign shelled out nearly $8 million through October to Google, Yahoo, Facebook, news Web sites, ad networks, and in-game ad firm Massive.
Google remains the clear winner of Obama's Web spoils, though the search giant's payments for October have yet to appear in the campaign's Federal Election Commission filings. The company collected $3.5 million from Obama for America, according to the latest FEC reports analyzed by ClickZ News. Keeping with a trend established early this year, Yahoo remains a distant second, having garnered around $673,000 from the campaign. A total of $7.97 million was spent on Web ads in '08 through October by the campaign, according to FEC reports.
Questions for BBC's Digital Media EVP
Luke Bradley-Jones, EVP business development and digital media for BBC Worldwide America, is taking the long view -- as evidenced by the site's light banner load (just two ads per page) and by its decision not to work with ad networks. "It may mean losing money in year one or year two, but when it comes to year four, year five, it'll be a huge competitive advantage," he said. ClickZ recently sat down with Bradley-Jones to talk about The BBC's approach to building its ad sales team and packaging its audience.
2008 Was The First Social Media Election
BusinessWeek says the 2008 contest for the White House should go down in history as "the first social media election," because sites like YouTube, Facebook and MySpace played an "unprecedented role" in determining the outcome, especially compared to 2004, when most social networks "were just getting off the blocks." YouTube, for example, wasn't even founded until the following year, while MySpace and Facebook only had a fraction of the traffic they have now in 2004.

LinkedIn Cuts 10% Of Staff

The Sequoia-backed business network will be cutting 36 of 370 employees, or around 10% of the company. LinkedIn is saying that some of these employees will be reassigned to new roles (though the company won't comment on how many new roles there will be). It's likely that the cuts were prompted by investors like Sequoia pushing for cost cutting (the VC gave portfolio companies a 56 Slide Presentation of Doom last month in light of the economic crisis). But LinkedIn isn't about to run out of money: the company just closed a$22.7 million infusion, which came on top of a $53 million Series D round in June that pegged LinkedIn's valuation at $1 billion.
Google makes PDF files searchable
Google now has optical character recognition software that allows users to search web-based PDF files. Evin Levey, a Google product manager, said the company is using the technology to convert scanned documents into equivalent text files that can be searched, indexed and returned as responses to Google search queries.
Sony Ericsson W705 now official - Wi-Fi confirmed, GPS not
Users can use WiFi to download songs to the phone or use Bluetooth to stream songs wirelessly to the MBs-900 speaker system that the company unveiled along with the phone. The phone has shake control technology, which allows users to switch volume and tracks with a flick of the wrist. It also uses SensMe software that creates playlists based on a user's mood and has a 3.2 megapixel camera and a 4GB memory card.

Nokia Brings the Web to Emerging Markets

Its $50 mobile phones could be winners in offering Internet access to Indian farmers and millions of others


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